The Calgary Flames have been a tricky team to bet on through the first five games of the season – and nobody knows what to expect Saturday night as the Flames visit the Vancouver Canucks on the second night of a back-to-back. Calgary has scored 12 goals in its three victories but has been shut out in its two defeats – including Friday’s 6-0 rout at the hands of the visiting Ottawa Senators. The Canucks are 1-1-1 as they wrap up a season-opening four-game homestand.
Calgary Flames vs. Vancouver Canucks
Moneyline: Canucks -105 Date: Saturday, October 15, 10 p.m. ET Location: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, B.C.
NHL Odds and Betting Analysis
The Canucks open as a slight favorite in this one, though this one might shift in favor of the Flames. Vancouver has struggled since a season-opening win over Edmonton, dropping a shootout decision to Ottawa before falling 4-2 to Winnipeg. The Canucks struggled against Pacific foes to end the 2016-17 campaign and have dropped eight of their last nine encounters with divisional opponents overall. They’ve also won just four of their previous 21 home games.
And if head-to-head encounters are your thing, the Flames have won just seven of their previous 26 games in Vancouver. The Canucks have won the last three home meetings by a combined score of 8-3. And If historical trends continue, bettors should consider an under-5.5 play on the total. These teams have gone under in seven of their previous 10 meetings in Vancouver, with the losing side scoring one or zero goals in six of those contests.
Give the Flames credit for being a resilient team; they’ve won their last five games following a loss of at least three goals. But Calgary could be at a slight disadvantage in goal Saturday as they give backup netminder Eddie Lack the start. The former Canucks goalie has appeared in just one game this season, stopping five of six shots; he posted a subpar .902 save percentage and a 2.64 goals-against average in 20 games with Carolina last season.
Jacob Markstrom is expected to start in goal for the fourth consecutive game; his .927 save percentage ranks ninth among goalies with at least three games played. Vancouver could be without defenseman Alex Edler, who left Thursday’s loss to the Jets with a lower-body injury and is considered questionable for this one. The Canucks will hope to get more out of the Sedin twins, who have just four combined points and a minus-4 rating through three games.
Flames vs. Canucks Prediction
Canucks 3, Flames 2